- Minneapolis, MN
- Seattle, WA
- San Francisco, CA
- Boulder, CO
- Berkley, CA
- Davis, CA
- Portland, OR
- New York, NY
- Tucson, AZ
- Washington DC
Minneapolis is the best large city for bicyclists in the US, according to a report by PeopleForBikes. The Twin Cities region is a cyclist's paradise with over 16 miles of on-street protected bikeways, 98 miles of bike lanes, and 101 miles of off-street bikeways and trails. The Grand Rounds Scenic Byway is a trendy destination for bicycling. It is a 51-mile loop that traverses the city and offers spectacular views of the area's many lakes, creeks, woodlands, and riverbanks. Plus, Minneapolis has the third-highest five-year average for bicycle commuting of any major city.
Seattle is one of the best cities for cyclists due to its low-speed limits and fortified bike lanes. The default speed limit in Seattle is 25 miles per hour for arterial streets and only 20 mph in residential areas, making it a very safe city for biking. Seattle also features a large network of bike lanes, many of which feature concrete barriers separating cyclists from regular traffic. It also has a very bike-friendly culture, and an estimated 24.1% of Seattle residents are recreational cyclists.
San Francisco is also one of the best cities in the US for cycling. San Francisco is a great place to explore on your bike with its scenic views of the Bay and its famous hills that provide a fun challenge for cyclists. The city had intentionally implemented measures to encourage bicycling, including an expansion of the network of bike trails, improved bike parking, and a robust bike-sharing system. As a result, bicycling in San Francisco has grown by 184% since 2006, and currently, about 22.5% of residents are recreational riders.
Boulder, Colorado, also ranks among the top mid-sized cities for bicycling. The Boulder Valley features more than 300 miles of bikeways with 96 miles of bike lanes, 84 miles of multi-use paths, and 50 miles of designated bike routes. About 15.1% of Boulder residents commute to work by bicycle, and 17.9% are recreational riders. Plus, it's very big on bike safety, and there is a 15-mph speed limit on bike paths (including e-bikes). As a result, the bike fatality rate per 100,000 residents is very low at 0.20.
Berkley, California, is also one of the best cities in the US for cycling. Berkley has the fourth-highest percentage of bicycle commuters in the country, and about 1 in 10 residents rides a bike to work. It also has an extensive network of bicycle boulevards – or streets specially optimized for bicycle traffic - as well as designated bike lanes, off-street bicycle paths, and on-street bike parking. The Ohlone Greenway is one notable bike path that runs for 4.5 miles through Berkley, Albany, and El Cerrito.
Davis, California, is another mid-sized city known for its bike culture. Often called the bicycle capital of the US, Davis has over 63 miles of pathways, 102 miles of bike lanes, 1 mile of bicycle boulevards, and 4 miles of buffered bike lanes. There are over 4,300 bike racks in the city, with 2,000 in the downtown area. Plus, they are very big on bike safety, and 75% of roads have a posted speed limit of 25 mph. As a result, 23.5% of Davis residents commute on a bicycle, and the bike fatality rate is zero.
Portland is another great city for cycling. With nearly 400 miles of bikeways all around the city, Portland features a mix of bike paths, designated bike lanes, and neighborhood greenways. About 20.4% of Portland residents are recreational riders, and the majority live within a quarter mile of a designated bikeway. The Portland Department of Transportation also offers many initiatives and resources for cyclists, and Oregon ranks fourth in the nation for bike-friendly laws.
New York City is also one of the best cities for bicycling. Famous for its gridlock traffic, many New Yorkers own a bike out of necessity. About 16% of residents bike to work, while 25.1% are recreational riders. That's close to 2 million bike riders in one city. The city has also made plenty of accommodations to encourage bike riding, including over 1,500 miles of bike lanes, about 644 of which are protected. The city has put increased efforts into bike safety, although the cyclist fatality rate is 2.7 per 100,000 residents, which is roughly on par with the national average.
Tucson is another one of the best cities for bike riders. With warm weather, endless sunshine, and beautiful mountain vistas, Tucson is a popular destination for not just recreational cyclists but also endurance athletes. There are many challenging yet fun bike trails all over the city, including the Loop, Gates Pass, and Mt. Lemmon. Plus, the city is also home to 131 miles of car-free shared-use bike paths that are excellent for pros and casual riders alike.
Washington, DC, is also one of the top cities for bike riding. DC launched its Capital Bikeshare program in 2008, a bicycle-sharing system that was the first of its kind in the United States. Since then, the district has constructed more than 100 miles of bike lanes and installed more than 200 bike racks. As a result, DC's infrastructure has a bikeability score of 92 out of 100, one of the highest of any city in the US. It also has the country's 10th lowest bicycle-related fatality rate, which is 59% lower than the national average.